Joseph Firmenich was a German painter. Firmenich was born in 1821 in Cologne and died in 1891 in Berlin. According to art historian Gustav Ebe, Firmenich was an autodidact who was a court painter in the Grand Duchy of Hesse, and painted natural landscapes from Tyrol and other regions. Other sources say that Firmenich was a student of Simon Meister. While visiting France, he once entered into a wager (worth a few champagne bottles and witnesses by artists) that German painters could paint more accurately than French painters. Firmenich painted an oak tree within an hour and won the challenge.